The Future of Promo: 2018 Trends to Watch

Now that we are fast approaching the end of the year, it is time to start thinking about trends for 2018. The biggest trend we see in promo? Technology-centered promotional items are hot! According to Forbes, the Millennial generation currently makes up one in three employees in the U.S. – tech savvy, socially involved, and incredibly diverse. In layman’s terms? Cheap is out – value is in!

According to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), the usefulness of a promotional product is the consumer’s number one reason for keeping it, with 77% reporting this is the main reason why they’ve kept promo items in the past. This statistic is a major focal point for companies looking to get the best marketing results from their promo items because it indicates that people are not particularly interested in keeping an item that merely takes up space, even if that paperweight does have a really cool logo on it. Instead, try focusing your marketing dollars on a few of the suggestions we’ve provided below.

Technology remains at the forefront of promo

Technology-forward items such as custom USBs, power banks, smartphone accessories, fitness trackers, Bluetooth speakers, etc. – these are dominating the market. This is due not only to their value to consumers, but also to their usefulness. According to ASI, 60% of consumers stated they would be more likely to do business with an advertiser who gave them a power bank. Over its lifespan, mobile power banks generate approximately 1,034 impressions. This type of lasting exposure is powerful and is a huge factor to consider when choosing a product.

People really care about the environment, and they think companies should too

Eco-Friendly products matter to consumers and 42% have a favorable opinion of advertisers distributing sustainable goods. Aside from being hugely popular with consumers, the benefits of eco-friendly products are felt not only through a more favorable response from consumers, but also through a positive impact on the environment and the perception of a company as being socially responsible.

Always choose products based upon value rather than cost

According to PPAI, consumers are impressed by higher-quality promotional items and feel that it represents the value that a business or organization puts on the prospect who receives it. Everyone likes to feel valued, so this is a great way to set yourself apart from other advertisers. “Upscale” items are considered those products with a value of $25+ like jacketsbackpacks, and premium headphones. While the initial spend may be higher, ultimately these items fetch a much higher ROI and are worth splurging on.

Bottom line? Focus your dollars on those items that are useful, high-quality, and deliver long-lasting exposure for your brand.